Porsche has been working with its initial LMDh customer teams to get them up to speed with the car and new systems according to Porsche Motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach.
The German manufacturer plans to deliver four Porsche 963s to the privateer teams by late April, with JDC-Miller Motorsports, JOTA and Proton Competition all targeting race debuts by the first half of this year.
“We’re trying to give them as much information as we can,” Laudenbach told Sportscar365. “We have invited them to tests, we invited them to support the build up of the cars.
“We are trying to give them everything to learn about the program about the car before they have it to bring them up to speed as soon as they have it.
“It’s not easy at all because we are running our [factory] program but we’re really trying to keep them in the loop. We’re in constant communication with them and we provide everything we have to them.”
When asked about the level of information transfer from the factory Porsche Penske Motorsport squad to the customers, Laudenbach said it’s been “fairly open” but indicated it’s not a completely open-book situation.
“Yes to a certain point we have to be careful because there will be one day that Porsche Penske Motorsport will be in competition with a customer team, which is a normal situation,” he said.
“So we have to be careful, but all in all we’re really open and are doing everything to give them everything to prepare themselves.”
While admitting it’s “not an ideal situation” with the mid-season deliveries, Laudenbach said they’ll be taking a strategic approach to the order the teams will receive the cars.
“They will get their cars as soon as their cars are finished,” he said. “Normally you would think first-come-first-serve. But on the other side we also want to take into account which is the first race they can reach.
“This is something we decide together with the teams. Of course in the end it’s in our hands but we talk to them and see how we can manage. This is very, very cooperative with them and is really on a good basis.”
Proton team boss Christian Ried previously told Sportscar365 they could end up debuting its cars after the 24 Hours of Le Mans due to the level of testing that’s needed prior to embarking on its first race with the Porsche 963.
Porsche “Prepared to Deliver” More Customer 963s for 2024
Laudenbach confirmed that Porsche could deliver additional customer cars by as early as next year although a final decision on its future allocations will be based on customer demand.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the intention,” he said. “It’s not a business case. It is something we do because we believe in customer sport. It’s something we’ve always done.
“Right now, everybody’s enthusiastic, which is great and we have so many brands. But this will not be the case forever. I think the day might come when we’re all happy that we have customer cars on the top level.
“We are also interested in getting stable platforms and pushing the sport because that’s our DNA.
“If there are customers who want to race a Porsche we are prepared to deliver. But it’s not to say we necessarily have to because it’s not for a prospective on a business case.”
When asked if Porsche would have the capacity for additional cars in 2024, Laudenbach indicated that it wants to see how the initial customer rollout unfolds.
“Once we have the 2023 teams going, then the door might be open for more teams,” he said. “From a support crew, if you have two cars or four cars you don’t have to double it.
“If we get the teams in 2023 implemented in time and they can run the cars on their own with some support, and can handle it and everything else, then I think it’s time to think about additional cars. It might be 2024.”